The death of my 3rd great grandfather, Joseph Geißler, could be a legend handed down through the generations or it could be true. How would you go about deciding what is fact and what is fiction?
|Death story about Joseph Geisler in Margie Wasson’s scrapbook in her handwriting.|
The story reads:
“Henry’s father was on horseback and rode into Fort Hayes. Guard yelled Halt. He only spoke German and as the story went didn’t understand. So the guard shot him and he died. His widow married a Billman and loved on a farm in Georgesville. As a boy, this is where my dad visited and remembered his grandmother driving her horse.”
The first step would be to determine the names of all the people.
Henry Geiszler’s father is indeed Joseph Geißler. Joseph’s widow is Caroline (Mack) Geißler Billman. She married Michael Billman, and they did have a farm Georgesville, Franklin County, Ohio.
“My Dad” is Margie Wasson’s father George Joseph Geiszler, son of Henry Geiszler (of this writing). “His Grandmother” once again is Caroline Billman.
So, the 2nd great-granddaughter of Joseph Geißler is writing the story down about his death, along with a brief mention of her father’s trip to the 2nd great-grandmother’s second husband’s farm. Confused much?
There is a lot more to dissect, but I’d love to know what you would do with a story like this. How would you prove/disprove whether Joseph was killed outside Fort Hayes because he was German and told to halt but didn’t understand?
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